Many young adults in Knoxville are not aware of how drinking and driving can affect their lives. There is nothing wrong with having a few drinks with your friends if you are of legal age. But it is not okay for you to drink and drive. Take some time to learn how a DUI can affect your future so you know what is at stake when you get behind the wheel.
You gain a criminal and arrest record
Once convicted, that DUI charge will follow you around on your criminal record for a long time. There is also an arrest record you cannot get rid of. Together, you will find yourself facing challenges to jobs, education and government programs that people with clean records may not encounter.
It affects jobs and career potential
Many employers have policies regarding criminal convictions that occur during employment. If you happen to work for an employer that has a zero-tolerance policy for criminal activities and records, you could lose your job. Although there are many jobs available, you may notice that the number of interviews and job offers you receive while you have a DUI conviction are slim.
Many higher paying employment opportunities do not allow candidates to have criminal records. You may end up having to work several jobs to earn the same amount of income you could earn at a decent paying job that you no longer qualify for because of your criminal history.
It impacts relationships
Many people do not hold people who have DUI convictions in high esteem. Your relationships with your friends, family and loved ones may suffer as you deal with the short- and long-term consequences of your situation. Some people may continue to stand by and support you as you try to overcome these obstacles. Others may stop associating with you because of the negative stigmas that often accompany DUI convictions.
It interferes with education goals
Colleges and universities are very strict about their admission requirements. Many of them may deny applicants who have criminal convictions. Drinking and driving can interfere with your ability to finish school and obtain your degree. If you were planning to major in a field that requires professional certifications and licenses, a DUI conviction could bar you from enrolling in those programs and meeting the requirements for those credentials.
The best way for you to avoid a DUI conviction is not to get charged with one. Use a taxi or ride share service if you need to travel right after drinking alcohol. If you are facing a DUI charge and want to know how to minimize its impact on your future, you should speak to an attorney.